Upcoming Trials

Journalism and free speech trials: Week of September 23 – 27

This week several journalism and freedom of expression trials will resume at courts. Below is a list of this week’s hearings:

23 September Monday
  • The hearing where the stay of execution request concerning Dutch journalist Johanna (Ans) Cornelia Boersma’s deportation will be reviewed will be held at Istanbul 1st Administrative Court. Boersma, who is represented by MLSA, was unlawfully deported from Turkey without proper explanation on January 17, 2019. Usually Administrative Courts do not hold hearings and decide on cases by themselves; however, due to the complexity of this case they decided to review Boersma’s objection with a hearing. Both parties (Lawyers of the Directorate General of Immigration Management and Boersma’s lawyer Veysel Ok) will present their defense statements about the case. 
24 September Tuesday
  • Eighth hearing of since shut down Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reporter Ziya Ataman’s trial will resume at Şırnak 1st High Criminal Court. Ataman, whom MLSA represents in court, has been imprisoned since 11 April 2016. The prosecutor demanded an aggravated life sentence for Ataman during previous hearing. A verdict is expected during this hearing. 
  • Sixth hearing of the trial where journalist Kibriye Evren faces “membership in a terrorist organization” and “terrorist propaganda” charges for her journalistic activities and social media posts will resume at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court. Evren is tried whilst in detention and has been detained since 11 October 2018. 
  • Eighth hearing of the trial where six journalists stand trial for reporting on the emails of Berat Albayrak, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources at the time, which were leaked by RedHack will resume at İstanbul 29th High Criminal Court. Journalists Metin Yoksu, Tunca Öğreten, Eray Saygın, Derya Okatan, Mahir Kanaat and Ömer Çelik face the following charges: terrorist propaganda, hindrance or destruction of an information system, deletion or alteration of data, acting on behalf of a terrorist organization without being a member, and membership to a terrorist organization.
  • Nineteenth hearing of the trial where since shut-down Taraf daily reporter Mehmet Baransu and Managing Editor Murat Şevki Çoban face “disclosing information that must be kept confidential for reasons relating to the security, or domestic and foreign political interests of the State through press” charges for a news report published in Taraf on 28 November 2013 titled “The Decision to end Gulen was reached at the National Security Council (MGK) in 2004” will be held at Anadolu 10th High Criminal Court in Kartal, İstanbul.
  • Trial where Yeni Asya newspaper’s Editor-in-Chief Kazım Güleçyüz faces “consecutively making propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organization” charges will resume at İstanbul 29th High Criminal Court this week. 
  • Trial where journalist Hayri Demir is accused of “membership in a terrorist organization” and “making terrorist propaganda” charges will resume at Ankara 15th High Criminal Court this week. This new trial received media attention because evidence presented in the indictment included footage and photographs taken by Demir while he was covering news. This footage was inside a memory card from a camera that was stolen from Demir’s home in Ankara. 
26 September Thursday
  • Third hearing of the trial where food engineer and academic Bülent Şık faces “disclosure of confidential information in respect of a duty” and “securing and disclosing prohibited information” charges will be held at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance
  • Fourth hearing of the trial where Kurdistan 24 Turkish reporter Cesim İlhan faces “terrorist propaganda” charges because of his social media posts will wil be held at Bingöl 2nd High Criminal Court. İlhan, who MLSA represents in court, is attending the hearing via video-conference from İstanbul.
27 September Friday
  • Second hearing of the trial where journalist İdris Yılmaz, whom MLSA represents in court, faces “membership in a terrorist organization” charges will be held at Van 5th High Criminal Court. Yılmaz had previously been convicted for “membership in a terrorist organization” charges and was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison. An appellate court had overturned this decision and the case was reopened and merged with another file where Yılmaz faced the same charge.